Sunday, May 13, 2007

velvet rules OK

Vogue 7856, View A. See previous review of View B. I shortened the pattern by about an inch and cut a 12.

About a year ago I impulse bought the last 1.5m of a violet/green/blue with splashes of gold asbtract pattern silk/rayon velvet burnout in Yuzawaya, Kamata. I don't much like regular flowerly patterns and almost everything seems to come in flowers so I found this design irresistible. It was incredibly expensive (worked hard and have suceeded in forgetting exactly how much), and ever since I have been dithering over what to make with it since it was far too nice to leave in a cupboard. For a long time I was going to make some sort of top with it. Maybe something like this, only I don't like that top so much. It turns out that 1.5m doesn't seem to be enough to make most tops.

One of the two branches in Keitoya in Kamakura is closing down. At least it is selling off all its stock at a low price: perhaps it will re-stock when it is done. It is quite funny - the sale has been going on for months, and yet each time I go I notice different things. It think that more fabric is being revealed below the stock that has been sold. They really did have a huge amount of stock crammed in! Anyway, one day I found 2m of violet silk/rayon velvet for 2000¥, and bought it cos it felt so nice.

When I got home I found that the burnout and the violet velvet were a tolerable match. Suddenly with 3.5m of fabric the pattern possibilities were greatly expanded! I was on the verge of making a blouse when suddenly I spotted the skirt pattern envelope. I used gimp to draw some pictures and work out a pattern for the panels. I thought alternative stripes would just be too stripy. When I first showed the design (already cutout and tacked together) to James he said it looked like I hadn't had enough fabric to make a whole skirt. I told him it was "design". Cruel boy.

I had already washed the burnout with no obvious effect on it. I knew that if I washed the violet velvet it would come out a bit crinkled, but I thought that this would make it combine better with the shiny/matt streakiness of the burnout design. So I chucked it in the washing machine. The result was impressively crinkly, and I think it improves the match between the two fabrics.

For stitchin' with velvet I used info. from two websites, here and here. The cutting out was very tricky. I did my best but did not get too worked up about it because I reckoned on the 12 being large since the previous version of View B had really come out a bit big. As it turned out, after tacking it together I could take out 6cm at the waist, which I tried to do quite evenly over all the back/side pieces of the skirt. It was not so easy to take it out of the front due to having to line up two overlapping sections here. I finished the seams flat with a 3.0 width triple zig-zag and then trimmed them close to the stitching.

Then I realised that since it was turning out OK, I really should do the velvet justice and line the skirt. Cupro fabirc was duly purchased. Next time I should consider lining well in advance - I had not realised how much it really does improve a skirt - and order some silk from Sarah Veblen's huge range. At the front of the skirt, because of the wrap design of the skirt, the burnout has violet velvet behind it, so I bought violet lining to get a reasonable match behind the other burnout panels.

Velvet is pretty difficult to sew accurately, but the acufeed foot (dual feed) foot on my sewing machine helped a great deal and the only problem I really had were at the zipper. While sewing I did manage to get it uneven but didn't want to rip it out, due to the risk of ruining the fabric. I thought it was salvaged but now I see that somehow I managed to stretch the fabric at this point. Here is a picture of the mess. Yes it looks as bad in real life too. Velvet burnout may be difficult to handle but this stuff also hides mistakes wonderfully!!

Also in this pic. you can see the waistband. In the pattern you are told to ease the skirt into a facing. I don't like this finish on View B and I didn't think it would be a great deal of use in this view either. The velvet is pretty heavy and needs something quite strong to keep it up. I bought some wide black velvet ribbon, folded it over and handstitched it onto the top of the skirt.

For the hem I marked it, thread basted the fold line, finished with the three step zig-zag about 1cm from the edge, and then hand stitched the hem. Took a long time but I knew there was no was I would get an acceptable result with a sewing machine.

For the lining I lined up the back (8,9,10) and front (the underwrap pieces 6,7) pattern pieces on grain, joining them at the hip and marking darts at the waist. Then I cutout a front and a back on the fold, and stitched it all together, taking in the side seams to account for the 6cm of decrease in circumference. I sewed the hem of the skirt before hemming the lining then marked the skirt level on the lining, then stitched a 1 inch double hem on teh machine, which is not beautifully done but is hopefully fairly well hidden from view.

A comment on the design. The skirt is shorter at the front than the back, but it is almost too subtle and could almost be a defect. The beauty of this skirt (as even James acknowledged) is in motion, so here is a viddy!

Sewing machine settings:
#90 violet thread, #9 needle lining, #14 needle velvet.
TT - 4.5, FP - 2.0, BT loose.
seams - straight stitch acufeed foot
edge finished - 3.0 width 3 step zig-zag, non-acufeed foot



Dawn said...

It's beautiful. Such nice drape. What a gorgeous color.

Linda said...

Beautiful skirt and I love the video. The skirt has great motion. It reallys does make the skirt to see the video. Thanks for sharing.